Microsoft gives hints on future cloud-based Xbox 360 features

Microsoft may be ready to offer cloud-based save games for the Xbox 360 console with the next Dashboard update but that's not the only thing the company has planned for cloud-based gaming. Gamasutra reports that during a speech at the Game Developers Conference in Shanghai, China this weekend, Microsoft's cloud evangelist Brian Prince said, " ... you will be seeing things in the Xbox platform that's cloud-specific. I'm already doing it, it's really exciting, but I can't tell you about it or else I'll get fired."

Cloud-based gaming launched in a big way in June 2010 with OnLive which offers gamers a way to play even graphically intensive games on nearly any desktop, notebook or television. A rival service, Gaikai, launched in early 2011 but has concentrated on free game demos via streaming. GameStop has announced plans to offer a cloud-based gaming service sometime in 2012.

Even Price believes that cloud-based streaming gaming is going to become popular eventually. Speaking of OnLive and Gaikai, he said, "These are really gaming platforms as a service. There are some limitations here, but I really do think this is the distant future of gaming in the cloud."

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